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Damon Lindelof ‘Watchmen’ Series in Early Development at HBO

Zack Snyder, director of 2009 film, is no longer attached

A “Watchmen” television series is in early development at HBO with “The Leftovers'” co-creator Damon Lindelof attached, a person close to the project told TheWrap.

Zack Snyder, who directed the 2009 “Watchmen” film, shopped around a “Watchmen” series back in 2015. However, Snyder is no longer attached to the project and Lindelof is starting over independently, the insider said.

“Watchmen” will be based off the Alan Moore graphic novel of the same name, which was released in 1986-87. The story follows a group of superheroes that falls apart when one of its members is murdered — as the world is on the brink of World War III. While some investigate the murder, they unravel a deep and global conspiracy.

It takes place in an alternate timeline where costumed heroes have changed significant events in history. In this universe, the US won the Vietnam War and President Nixon is still in office well into the 1980s.

Moore wrote the comics to reflect the cultural anxieties surrounding the Cold War and to deconstruct the do-gooder mythology surrounding superheroes. Since “Watchmen,” superhero comics have become more complex and darker, and multiple writers have attempted similar deconstructions.

Snyder adapted the story to the big screen in 2009, starring Billy Crudup as the blue Dr. Manhattan, along with Malin Akerman, Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, and others. It was mostly a straight adaptation from the source, except for a few large changes, especially to the ending. It had been considered unfilmable, but the film garnered mixed reviews.

Lindelof is coming off of “The Leftovers,” which he created, executive produce, and co-wrote for HBO. The show recently ended after three seasons.

His other credits include “Lost,” which he co-created with J.J. Abrams, along with the screenplays for “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” “Tomorrowland” and “World War Z.”